• DC’s Metro Hacks Screw Up Their Own Cover-up of Screw Ups

    The District of Columbia’s Metro system has never been called a competent government agency, but it was revealed Thursday that it can’t even cover up its own mistakes in a successful fashion.

    Following a January smoke incident that left a woman dead, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority contracted with two crisis firms to help it deal with media fallout from the situation.

    The agency didn’t want this information to get out, but it unwittingly transferred the information to Will Sommer, a reporter at the Washington City Paper.

    WMATA provided the City Paper with a CD containing open, redacted documents and forgot to remove the original, unredacted files, which were password protected, the paper reports.

    Someone on the staff at WMATA then gave the passwords for the unredacted files to Sommer, and later, upon realizing their mistake, asked the reporter to please return the unredacted files.

    He didn’t return them.

    The files Metro wanted back showed that the agency spent around $250,000 hiring O’Neill and Associates and Hill + Knowlton Strategies to fight against bad publicity.

    Part of that $250,000, WCP reports, went to researching and tracking a single Twitter user who uses the handle @FixWMATA.

    While there are numerous social media accounts dedicated to criticizing the beleagured transit agency, @FixWMATA isn’t even the most popular one.

    @unsuckdcmetro has more than 10 times the followers @FixWMATA has, with around 37,700 and 3,100, respectively.

    Read the whole story on the Washington City Paper website.


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